5 Buggy Walks around the Wakefield DistrictThere is lots on offer for families, including families with pushchairs, all across the Wakefield district. Have a read through these outdoor adventures, and get planning your next trip to the great outdoors!
Having young children can sometimes feel trying when you’re exploring new places outdoors. You don’t want to walk too far for fear of the screams (“I’m tired!”, “My feet hurt!”, “I want to go home!”), but taking a buggy is a gamble… Are there proper paths? Is it hilly? Is it muddy? Wakefield has some wonderful places to visit, so read on for the lowdown on some brilliant places across the district to go with a buggy.
Nostell, National Trust
Nostell is one of the most beautiful National Trust sites, with a perfect combination of countryside paths and picturesque gardens to explore. If you are not a National Trust member, please be aware that to enter the parkland you will need a separate ticket than you’ll need to enter the house and gardens. In the gardens, you’ll find an adventure playground and a short lakeside buggy-friendly walk. Make sure you follow the accessibility signs as some paths have steps. In the parkland, enjoy the walk to and back from Obelisk Lodge (1 mile each way)… there is a slight hill to walk here but it’s worth the effort! Plan your route with the help of this map.
Newmillerdam Country Park
Newmillerdam is quite simply a wonderful place to visit. Not only is there an easy, buggy-friendly 1.5 mile path around the lake to enjoy (although it does get muddy sometimes), it is also home to The Gnome Roam, one of Wakefield’s free story trails for children, and my children’s favourite trail. Walking the Gnome Roam with a buggy does require a little more effort than the lakeside walk, as it starts from the carpark with a steep uphill section… but it’s worth the effort when you see the fun your children have when they find the bear! There are public toilets, cafés and pubs at the side of the lake for your convenience. Entry is free, although the car park is pay & display.
Pugneys Country Park
Pugneys has an incredible range of activities for children to enjoy, and the 1.5 mile walk around the lake is easy and on a surfaced path. The park is also home to a great family-friendly café and a large playground (Pirates Cove). It has a huge sandpit, there is an adventure trail to follow, and you can download the Love Exploring App to meet dinosaurs and fairies… oh, and it’s home to a Miniature Railway too! I’m not sure if you could think of anything this brilliant park is missing! Entry is free, although there is a pay and display carpark.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Just seven miles outside Wakefield city centre lies the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, with 500 acres to explore and lots of contemporary sculptures to discover. In the drier summer months, you’ll find that much of the park is suitable for pushchairs, but you’ll need to take care in wetter weather where sticking to accessible paths is more necessary. Whilst there are many buggy-friendly paths, they’re not always obvious, so it’s important to check a map for the best routes before you start – or ask at the visitor centre (yes, this definitely comes from the voice of experience!). Make sure to visit this page on their website for free resources to enjoy on your visit.
Situated close to Wakefield city centre, Thornes Park boasts surfaced paths that are great for pushchairs… only the walk up to the viewpoint is more of a challenge, being only partly surfaced and obviously uphill! There’s a café and a family-friendly pub to enjoy within the park, as well as a play area (with separate toddler area for bigger play equipment), an aviary and a duck pond. In summer, a miniature railway operates most weekends. A walk around the perimeter is about 2 miles. Entry is free, as is the carpark.
Rachel Girtchen blogs about family walks and days out on Muddy Boots Mummy, and loves getting out and about and finding new places to explore in the local area with her family. Have a look at her blog if you’re looking for more inspiration!